The various types of cheese are nutrient-dense foods that are good sources of calcium, phosphorus, and protein. They are also important ingredients in many highly consumed foods such as pizza, cheeseburgers, and sauces. However, they are also perceived as being high in fat and sodium. Consumers have indicated that they would like to continue utilizing cheese in their diet but would prefer to have lower-fat and lower-sodium products. Fat and salt are important elements in the flavor, texture, food safety, and overall acceptability of cheese. Alternatives to fat and salt are being investigated but have not been found to be acceptable, especially in those products that meet the FDA's definition of low-fat and/or low-sodium. This review is primarily a report on the current status of research to develop desirable cheeses with low-fat and/or low-sodium, their regulatory and labeling status, consumer acceptability, and challenges for further efforts.
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